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Old Man

Rating, Royal Naval Division, Antwerp, 1914 --- Tommy's War 54mm

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I don't do figures often, so when I do get one, it's because I really want to do one, and therefore I tend to pile straight in whatever else I may have planned or on the plate.

 

I have had some interest in the Naval Division at Antwerp since back in high school, when I came upon an article on it in an academic history magazine in the school library, and then read Mr. Churchill's history of the Great War. I was interested to discover the Tommy's War people did a figure of an enlisted man in the unit, and found I could get one from a state-side supplier.

 

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There was a pretty significant mould mis-alignment on the legs....

 

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I dealt with this as my first step, it being something I know how to do....

 

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After this came the tricky bit (ie just about everything else...)....

 

I started with the eyes and face because if these aren't at least passable, nothing else is going to matter much. I am pretty much a duffer at figures, and will spare you the preliminaries: what is pictured here represents the result after the third complete stripping of the face down to white primer....

 

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I'm going to put this aside for a bit, so I can come at it with fresh eyes. I expect I will try and get a little more dark color at the edges of the eye-lids, and perhaps a couple more touches of glaze/wash on the cheeks and chin.

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Couldn't resist putting off the Flycatcher instrument panels a bit longer. I went ahead and assembled the figure itself (sans head and equipment), and started in on the uniform.

 

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The trousers I am pretty well finished on, the navy blue portion shirt got a bit more paint after these were taken, and may still get a little more. Of course the tricky bit, the stripes on the neck-cloth (or whatever it is called) in particular, remain ahead....

 

I did a little more work on the eyes and face (eyes mostly), doing my best to get decent eye-lids in.

 

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A bit more progress on this, Gentlemen. This weekend as things worked out the Flycatchers took back seat to another scratch-built project I wanted to get off center. But at the very start I picked up the figure....

 

I painted the 'square-rig' neckcloth and the undershirt. The box art shows the undershirt as white, but contemporary illustrations show it as dark blue.  After some experiment proved to me I was not going to succeed at painting the white stripes, I resorted to 'special' methods, and cut strips of white decal film as skinny as I could manage. The film itself is exceedingly thin, and was put down in a pool of Future, so it does not stand out appreciably from the surface. I am aware of a couple of points that need touching up, and will address that on the next pass.

 

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The next tricky bit is getting a red anchor on a patch on the left sleeve....

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Posted (edited)

More progress on this, Gentlemen.

 

I tightened things up a bit on the face, mostly around the eyes....

 

 

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After these pictures were taken, I put a tiny fleck of white color into the outer corner of the left (figure's left) eye, but otherwise I think I am to a point where I really ought to leave the head alone, at least until it is off the block and onto the figure.

 

I cleaned up in a couple of places on the white stripes, got a bit more color onto some of the kit, and some color onto the hands, and took a run at the leading seaman badge on the left arm...

 

 

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This is my fourth try at the fouled anchor. I scraped the patch clean each time, down to the resin. Wound up drawing in with pencil, then painting in red, and trimming that down with blue, with a few final dabs put in with a sharpened toothpick. At this point I feel pretty good about it, though I think the left fluke of the anchor needs to be shortened a hair. If after a while I decide I don't like the thing at all, and that I can't do better, I will scrape it clean again, and de-rate the fellow to able seaman by just painting the area plain dark blue....

Edited by Old Man

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Before I dedicated the weekend to the Rapide, I got in a bit more on this....

 

Just about all the color is now on the figure itself.

 

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Tweaked the rank emblem a bit....

 

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Next will be metal bits, equipment, and touchings up (needed especially at the meeting of the left (figure's left) leggings and trousers.

 

I can't stop messing about with he head. I like to think I am improving it...

 

 

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I will be taking it off the block and attaching it to the figure in the next pass at this. Which ought to stop me fiddling about with it, or at least put a solid crimp in it....

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Great show, really.Figures are always a daunting prospect, and I agree with you: the face will always make or break the whole enterprise.

Having said that, what about giving your rating a light beard stubble? It should be a walk in the park.

 

I shall keep looking. Have fun!

JR

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It looks pretty good to me. Eyes are one of the reasons I restrict myself to aircraft.

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On 8/15/2017 at 11:20 AM, jean said:

Great show, really.Figures are always a daunting prospect, and I agree with you: the face will always make or break the whole enterprise.

Having said that, what about giving your rating a light beard stubble? It should be a walk in the park.

 

I shall keep looking. Have fun!

JR

 

Thank you, Sir.

 

These fellows weren't very long off the ships at Antwerp, it isn't as if they were in line in the trenches for weeks. I expect unless he had asked for and got 'permission to grow' he would be clean-shaven and punctilious about it.

 

On 8/15/2017 at 0:31 PM, Beard said:

It looks pretty good to me. Eyes are one of the reasons I restrict myself to aircraft.

Thank you, Sir.

 

It's a good reason to build aeroplanes, certainly. I drifted from aircraft into figures in my teens before I left home, so do still get the bug now and again....

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Have finally attached the head, as well as other equipment.

 

But it's the head that matters....

 

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Going to let it sit a bit, and see what surfaces as needing touch-up attention, then attach the rifle and sling and give the lad his cigarette....

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That has come together really nicely. The head and face in particular look super!

 

I'm surprised by how old fashioned the uniform looks for the eve of the First World War.

 

Regards,

Adrian

 

 

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On 8/20/2017 at 8:24 AM, AdrianMF said:

That has come together really nicely. The head and face in particular look super!

 

I'm surprised by how old fashioned the uniform looks for the eve of the First World War.

 

Regards,

Adrian

 

 

 

They put them ashore in Navy gear at Antwerp. Later, they got kitted out in more soldierly stuff....

 

This is now finished, at least for GB purposes: all the bits and bobs are on, and it is mounted on a simple base. I may at some future date do some more elaborate ground-work. Here is one picture, more will be up in the gallery:

 

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